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The Communicators

News/Business. People who shape the digital future.

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00:30:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 91 (627 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 5, Inouye 3, Hawaii 3, Abc 2, America 2, The Fcc 1, Akaka 1, Univision 1, Local News 1, Nate 1, Hulu 1, The Bbc 1, Smith 1, Fcc 1, Ted Gosch 1, Revere 1, Thetion 1, Irene 1, Lasnd Vegas 1, Tokyo 1,
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  CSPAN    The Communicators    News/Business. People who  
   shape the digital future.  

    December 17, 2012
    8:00 - 8:29pm EST  

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senators. an iconic political figure of his beloved hawaii, and the onlt original member of the congressional delegation who isn still serving in congress. he was a man who had every reason to call attention to himself. but who never did. man he was the kind of man, in short, that america has always been grateful tocially have.kest especially in our darkest hours. etn who lead by example. r those who expect nothing. nothing in return.es, i >> mr. president, i didn't thetion, i should have, but i am really -- i have been waiting last hour to make sure that it was okay with his wife that i said something. i haven't had time to do much bd other than feel bad. to
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as i talked to irene, i did talk to her. but i want to make sure that everyone understands the depth of my feelings. i'm speaking for the entire senate. m he believed in me more than iany believed in myself. many years ago, a couple of decades y ago.nate, aays he said that you're going to do great things in the senate. he always talked about my leaving the senate, and heh, always said that i did the right thing by telling me to do the right thing. the chapter of inouye in the senate is something that is remarkable. not only his military record, but what he did with the defense
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aspects and security aspects of this country.an than there was no one more bipartisan than senator inouye. he has a brother that lives in lasnd vegas. and a wonderful person he is. but he was as close to ted stevens as he was as a brother. they were brothers come to cally thesmselves brothers. so they set an example always about bipartisanship, about working with others, and as fars as being a good member of the caucus, no one was better than he was.han s no one hasen been a better american than senator inouye.k when we talk about people in hawaii who they revere, it is as utter inouye. the state of hawaii is going through a great deal this time.a
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senator akaka has announced his retirement. on behalf of all the senators, f expressed my appreciation for his service and his friendship. >> and 30 minutes on "q&a", author and coapplebaum talks about her book, iron curtain. next, on the communicators from discussion on telecommunications. >> welcome to "the communicators." looking at the future of television. welcome, sir. joining us for the conversation,
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the senior editor. senator smith, could you start by talking to us about how people watch television in the current day, as opposed to five years ago? >> clearly, a lot is happening and telecommunications generally. broadcasting is affected by that. what we do is local. to those who want to do it the old-fashioned way, it is free. and yet we have satellite and cable, and now we have the internet through blue -- hulu, and netflix. it remains relevant. when you look at the top television programs, 90 of them are broadcast this way. i think that the future of broadcast television is very
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bright, indeed. >> host: what challenges are you looking for in the future? >> guest: we are a mobile society and we want to be connected every hour of every moment of every day. the challenge is to make sure that we are on ipads and computers and phones, as well as the traditional viewing of the tv in the living room. the other challenge that we have, obviously, if the spectrum, it is a finite resource. others want that resource. yet there is not enough spectrum in the universe to do all the video by broadband. so the architecture of want everyone in the location, versus one to one, there is just a system that will always fail because of the congestion that is transmitting video one-to-one.
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we can't do that. i think the third thing is, we are in a highly regulated industry. when you compare the regulatory burden that broadcasters have, which is cable or satellite were obviously the internet. or the telephone company. we are the regulated one. we earn our licenses everyday by all that we offer and the public obligation, the decency, as to the public affairs and emergency warnings. these are all things that the public is able to take for granted, but they are very reliant, and i think appreciative when they recognize that this is broadcast. this is live. this is local and free. this is important. >> with the challenges listed, what is the most important first step that you have to take going
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forward? >> obviously, we are in uncharted territory with the spectrum options. the options in the way that they have decided has never been done before where you have a forward option of a reverse auction. and i think i can say with confidence that none of the big networks are going to be voluntary and go out of business. i don't have a clue as to how many broadcasters who are on the edge financially will take the money and volunteer to go out of business. our focus is that those who say, we want them to be held harmless. we want to believe that the congress does have those kinds of protections. >> so even if it goes to other platforms and other things like that, is the lifeblood of? >> yes, the way that you have a channel without interference,
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for broadcasting, that spectrum, we need it because we need elbow room. notwithstanding all of the regulatory environment that we operate in. i wish you could go with me to the labs in tokyo and see the incredible technological developments occurring in broadcast television. i am talking about television experiences of the future that people are going to want and going to love. i think on the technology front, if we are allowed our elbow room, or future looks very bright, indeed. >> the telecommuter douches report, go ahead. >> host: senator, pretended you were to wake up to 20 years from today. what would we be looking out for business model? some people are even questioning
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whether it is going to exist. what is your view on that? >> guest: we have to. because there is not enough spectrum for video and television on a broadband basis. if you start downloading all of your television viewing, it will fail you. our architecture in the end is free and local. and that is something that cable which is time delayed, or a satellite content similar to this -- it is not a local focus and not something that's free. something that you pay for it. something in the end that, you know, something like sports. i think it's really important the american people -- that broadcasting continues to be the primary focus of sports communications. because you can't do it. you can't do it by broadband.
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the architecture will fail. i think the fact that it's local and live, they are the enduring strength of broadcasting. >> host: even though there is a lot of talk within the telecom circles of looking to other areas of spectrum, not only broadcast, which you are familiar with, but looking to the federal government turn over more of the spectrum that they have, you are still saying that you don't feel there are enough to accomplish the mobile portion? >> guest: they have over half of the spectrum. the problem is when you want to get from the government to the united states military. they don't want to give it up. ultimately, there are opportunities there that they are not in the private sector.
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radio was first invented, and television. and they have half of what the telephone companies have with the spectrum that we have. we are anxious because that is your lifeblood. that is your seed corn. if you've lost your spectrum, you lost your channel and you don't have a future. you know, i think we have just seen, for example, with hurricane sandy, when all of the broadband networks fail, the constant is broadcast radio and television. the people can get it on a mobile device, they can see this stuff live. sometimes that information is transmitted and can be a matter of life or death. >> guest: do you think it's not enough to come forward that the wireless industry will look to congress to say something
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mandatory to for some of the broadcast to open up more spectrum's? >> we have to be prepared for that. i think that is certainly a possibility. but at the end of the day, i think it has to be the future of broadcast and broadband. if it is just one, it will fail the american people. for example, sports teams or any bowl game that he wanted to watch that wasn't broadcast, you better have the right cable channel or subscription. you better be paying your bill or you won't be able to watch the game. i don't think the american people wanted go there. but. >> host: there were figures that look at broadcast television.
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a total of 5.8 million homes down from 6.25 million homes in the third quarter. dui blog is for broadcast television? >> guest: yes, we think the number of broadcast only homes is about 17 million homes. when you look at second and third television, they have a satellite or cable television in the living room. or where they shave, in the kitchen, they have a broadcast television. let's just limited to 17 million. it is probably approaching 50 million americans, those tend to be more of the minority communities in the economically underprivileged. often the elderly.
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and increasingly, the young techies who're cutting the cable and who find enough on broadcast and multi-broadcasting. all of the new offerings are broadcasting. the number is growing by her studies. the phenomenon is a real one. we think that cable is important. we want them to succeed. paying for the content without they can't sell a television description. >> host: can they live on cable and not have to broadcast on
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air? >> guest: they want to. they want to be over the air. the gravitas still has to have the local component and the local news. you know, with multitasking, they can go hyper local. you can put for broadcast channels in there now. you are seeing a lot of the minority community finding mixed markets in multitasking. you are finding foreign language and religious broadcasting, full-time sports and weather. all of these things are part of the new age that we live in. and they come to us via broadcast.
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>> host: how complicated bc the process being? >> i see a hugely complicated process. i think a lot of folks are scratching their heads. but we want to be cooperative. if a broadcaster wants to go out of business and cashin, that is called freedom. we support that. if somebody wants to go out of business, they can. but the problem in all of this is that this is an urban problem. it's not a rule problem. the urban stations come they ones they want to go out of business, they are not going to volunteer. the areas where they are at people to volunteer tend to be flyover states. they don't need that spectrum. so how this is going to work, it
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is going to be a whole new exercise, and we will be cooperative. as long as it is transparent. as long as the congressional mandates hold harmless those who stay. and we want to stay on the air here and a lot of people count on us. whether they do it over the air or through a wire or bouncing off the sidewalk. >> host: they say that they want to move rapidly, the fcc, in 2014. are you concerned about the process that may not be done right? can you elaborate a little bit? >> the way they are constructing this is how many at this price volunteer to go out of business? they said that the wine community -- how many would buy at that price? no one will know who's doing what. and then when they find out that
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we don't need that spectrum, okay, how about this or that. and then they will come up with a patchwork model. the other side of this, it is, of course, a lot of power will have to be moved. the repackaging of television stations. this is not done correctly, the tv transition from analog to digital. and i will look like school class compared to the complexity of this. and millions will be disenfranchised by television if this isn't done properly. we are in uncharted territory. we know the will of congress, we know the goal of the fcc. we will be cooperative. >> host: the future of television, gordon smith of the national association of broadcasting, the president and
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ceo, also, joining us is ted gosch. tell us about extreme home shows on abc. i can go to jay -- cable and face competition. but. >> guest: notwithstanding the proliferation of all these channels, again, i go back to what are people watching. and it is the high-quality of broadcast content to keep them coming back to broadcast channels. that is what they are watching. ninety of the top hundred shows are broadcast. and as long as the economics of broadcasting are preserved, the content will be high. that will attract ears and eyeballs. that is a challenge with a proliferation of competition that is out there.
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which, so far, we are doing fine. >> host: he spoke of regulation when it comes to cable? >> guest: sometimes you get all the garbage in the world coming to your house, so you have to be careful about people in certain respects. but if they are on a broadcast content, there are community standards of decency that we have to observe. which parents ought to be mindful of when it comes to tv viewing of the family. i think that that is good public policy. i know many of my members think that their first amendment rights are some how it is right now.
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did they do have respect for community standards. but we have technology that allows us time delay and there are ways that people can be protected and broadcasters are not in the indecency business. that is not our model. so i think ultimately, that serve the american people. >> host: there has been a lot of talk about moving towards mobile tv. in mobile tv in particular, it has taken while for the mobile ecosystem in ways that? >> it simply takes time. i can tell you that on the market now, as you have a knack
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for it a broadcast and you can get live airwaves. the future is mobile. i am absolutely confident that we will do well to this with this and other things that are coming along with mobile. no one. >> guest: the ideal thing is you are not billed by the company.
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it is free and live. if you want to see the redskins play early last night, and you want to watch it in the backseat of your car, or maybe your car has a broadcast sever, that is the future. we recognize that. we are going to be participating in that. >> host: how does that affect the means of the future. >> guest: do people want their video live, or do they want when they won want to? the answer is they were both depending on their schedule. so we have to make sure that we are good on every platform.
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postmark the broadcast industry depends on advertising, what is the next step? cbs has told this network that we are not going to do business with you if you continue to provide that, we are going to have to charge you a lot more with transmission to make up for the loss of advertising. or you will not be able to understand how this works with broadcasting.
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>> host: some have suggested that broadcasters have begun to lose part of their market. discussions regarding spectrum, how are they in a position to sort of do that with this industry? >> guest: what we do is for free to the consumer. what they do comes with a fee. free is better than a fee. if you want to talk to lawmakers, and having been one myself, i can put up an internet ad and some people might see it, maybe a thousand people if i'm lucky. if i want to move numbers and communicate overnight with my
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constituents, where white but my money? i will put it on broadcast television. i think we are well-positioned. >> host: even though -- because certainly we seem to be a growing market and feeling -- the importance of wireless. this is the future of, you know, communications area there are certain things that we need to get ahead of and more spectrum and that leads to innovation. are you facing headwinds on the sheer numbers adding up. >> guest: or satellite or cable or the internet -- we are the
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only country in the world that has a broadcast system that is like the bbc, and you have cbs and abc and nbc and fox. they have affiliates to go local. that doesn't exist in other nations. would they do local news? what they observe decency standards? what they do for a much lower price? what they do it for free? they are not going to do that. when it comes to a lawmaker, he
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or she is going to say to themselves that broadcasters still serve a vital public interest. i like the fact that the underprivileged in our society can have it for free. and i like the fact that broadcasting is making an effort for multitasking to include all of the diversity in america. so you have the programming to the african-american community. obviously. univision and telemundo will do tremendous -- they will be tremendously in providing programming. they do things for they do things for the american constituents of the other telecommuter kitchens devices are not willing to do.
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and certainly they are not regulated to do. but if you're going to get rid of broadcasting, what about all the public policies that are served by broadcasters? on those valuable as well? i think the answer is yes. >> host: how much called it a habit the fcc? >> host: i hope sufficient because they are the ones that are regulated gas. there is a healthy tension that exists between an industry and its regulator. we simply are valuing industry. because we think the american people value industry. therefore, the fcc does as well. >> host: is there any kind of programming other than the fcc? >> guest: not that i know of. but our industry, not those other industries, serve all of the values that i just spoke